Treatment / Enhancement
Alexandrite is a rare form of chrysoberyl with no known treatment, it is prized by many collectors as a pure, unaltered gem with natural color change. It has been imitated using synthetic color change corundum and has also been synthesized in the lab.
Alexandrite was first discovered in the Ural Mountains of Russia in the 1800’s. Other deposits have found in Brazil, Africa, and Sri Lanka. It shows a natural change of color from green to purple/red when moved from daylight to incandescent light. The best Alexandrite gemstones have a bright and defined color change.
Alexandrite was named for Tsar Alexander II because it was allegedly discovered on the future tsar’s birthday. The red and green hues of the stone also matched Russia’s military colors at that time, and so it became the official gem of Imperial Russia. Alexandrite became a secondary birthstone for June, representing the dual nature of Gemini and the changeable planet Mercury.
Alexandrite is a durable gemstone that is perfect for all jewelry applications. It can be heated, steam cleaned, or placed in an ultrasonic. The only precaution is to examine the gemstone for any surface crystal inclusions which may cause damage if heated. This is true for any unheated gemstone.